Image of subatomic particle tracks created by a bubble chamber being projected onto me by Cayan Ashley Photography- Mke., WI

Image of subatomic particle tracks created by a bubble chamber being projected onto me by Cayan Ashley Photography- Mke., WI

I’ve been fascinated by physics since I was a little girl. I taught myself all about subatomic particles and quantum mechanics before most of my peers even knew basic cellular biology.

 

Lately, I find myself up late at night studying the latest experiments on neutrinos (fascinating, mysterious, nearly massless subatomic particles created by violent astro activity). I’m absolutely enchanted by theoretical physics, in particular- the complex abstractness of intricately postulating how and why the physical universe  operates as we know it to just fascinates me! My brain eats abstract, scientific theories for breakfast and thrives on them.

 

Given that I’m very interested in these sciences, the following revelation may be a bit surprising to you: I practice secular witchcraft.

 

Image of my witchery by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image of my witchery by Cayan Ashley Photography

Being a secular witch means that I’m not religious in any capacity, and that I don’t recognize any deities as part of my spirituality. Instead, I work with crystals, read Tarot cards, spiritually cleanse with sage, and keep track of astrological movements and events as empowering self-care.

 

“How can someone so logical have spiritual beliefs that are scientifically unfounded?” you may be wondering. It’s a question I get surprisingly often.

 

Firstly, I wonder if people who follow common religions like Christianity get asked the same thing with as much frequency as I do. Even Pope Francis values science, has a background in chemistry, and, in 2014, famously acknowledged the Big Bang theory and evolution as not in contradiction with Catholicism. I’ve studied up on many religions, mythologies and spiritualities, and the fundamentals of them all seem to hold little to no probability of being "real" in the eyes of modern science. Angels, demons, spiritual divination, cryptozoological creatures, spirits, astrology, crystal healing, devils, gods and goddesses- where’s the scientific proof? According to modern science, it all more or less amounts to the same thing: nonsense.

 

Even with the absence of any scientific basis, practicing witchcraft plain ol’ makes me feel better. Is it all a placebo effect? Perhaps! It very well could be, and I acknowledge that readily. However, whether or not crystals really give off energy that can affect us, these talismans give me comfort, and using them in witchcraft increases my mindfulness. Whether or not our lives are affected by the movements of astro-bodies, the complex art of astrology is fascinating and rings true to me. Whether or not there’s any scientific logic behind burning sage for spiritual purification, the act calms and refreshes my state of mind.

 

It could very well be that the real magic isn’t in witchcraft itself, but rather in the way witchcraft enhances my life.

 

If there’s anything that my studies in theoretical physics have taught me, it’s that modern science is constantly evolving and making brilliant, unexpected and game-changing new discoveries. Each scientific breakthrough just leads to more questions and theories. Who knows- maybe, someday, we’ll discover that rose quartz does attract love into our lives, or that my Sagittarian sun really is responsible for my dry wit and contagious laughter. Until then, I maintain that spirituality and science can peacefully coexist as two separate, parallel entities in a person’s life, and that, my friends, is its own kind of magic.

 

Image of me with my crystal ball by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image of me with my crystal ball by Cayan Ashley Photography